There was a show i watch yesterday on KBS World it is a Korean Broadcasting Station. The show was called I AM KOREA, this show is about the preparation for a great celebration of Korean Independence. This year they celebrate 70 years.
So the project is to create a big Chorus, with 700 000 people, so they have invited all the active chorus from all over the Korea from Seoul to Jeju to participate, aside from it they are creating a special chorus which will include people who was born in 1945 and they are currently 70 years. old.
While watching this Show, through out the show i had only 4 People on my mind, My Grand Parents. They have lived all their lives with Korea in their hearts and never had a chance to visit the place they have always talked about, the place they have dreamed about, the place they have always sang about. Right now I have only Grand Mother who is still alive and she is one who had taught me to sing my first Korea song, I used to sing it all the time with her, while she was sewing my new dress, though that time i did not know even the meaning of those songs but I could feel that they were about Korea.
I will brief you about the Korean people in Central Asia. Korean people had traveled across the sea for new life opportunity, During Japanese occupation period. So this is how they were end up on Russian Territory. Many of them were fighting Japanese from there and other were just trying to survive. When the Second World War has started, Stalin had ordered to Move all the Korean population to Central Asia, because they were afraid that Korean people will start to fight against Soviet people. Korean people were allowed only to do the field work and never allowed to participate in a war, but many still tried to fight Germans and protect Soviet Union. So this is how my Grand Parent end up in Uzbekistan. My grandmother used to tell me that she was about 4 years old that time, when Russian Soldiers came to their house, it was very early in the morning, gave her a big chunk of sugar and then they have been taken away to the train station. Lots of Koreans died lots of them lost their family members and it took them ages to reunite. My grandfather from my mothers side was educated and he had even managed to graduate and hold a degree but his wife, my Grand mother could not even speak Russian properly, till she died the only language she had spoken was Korean. I remember how they have kept all Korean Newspapers in the living hall, and my Grandfather was reading them over and over again, this is how my Younger sister had learn how to read Korean. They had missed Korea a lot and they had so little to cherish, only memories and those newspapers.
Many times I have been asked if I am from South or from North Korea, I always say that I don’t know, because when my Great Grand parent left Korean land it was still just Korea, as One united.
I have visited Korea few time already, and every time I feel sorry that my grand parents never had this chance, and every time i visit the old villages museums in Korea I start to remember the old days, when our houses were just the same, Korean people in Central Asia were building the same houses, with the same heating system and the same yards.
I am Korea, this is so much suites to my Grandparents, if they would only had a chance to Enjoy Korea, because they loved Korea so much, their love for their country was undying and unconditional.
And when I sing that old Korean song now with my Grandmother in my heart, its always aches and always bring back memories, Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo…